Missed Masterpieces: Elton John | Buzz Blog
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Missed Masterpieces: Elton John


Several years ago, a bunch of us cops were driving to our yearly golf/gambling trip to Mesquite, Nevada, when the driver slipped an Elton John CD into the truck CD player. ---Almost instantly, someone from the back seat said, “Is that Elton John? Do we have listen this gay shit?”

The driver calmly said, “Well, I didn’t plan on fucking him, just listening to his music. Is that alright?”

The truck exploded in laughter from everyone but the guy who asked the original question. Then I said, “If you don’t shut-up, I’ll put in Queen’s Greatest Hits.” That one got a little laughter, and then there was a piranha feeding frenzy of harassing the hell out of the homophobe in the back seat.

I grew up in a house full of moderate racism, chauvinism, and especially homophobia. In fact, when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I often heard this statement from my father: “I don’t have any problem with black people. Now, I wouldn’t my any of my daughters to marry one, but I have no problem with black people.” This statement always made me laugh my ass off; I’m not sure he ever got the irony, but what can you do?

I’ve had friends tell me my father was just a product of his generation, but that never quite covered it for me. Despite my upbringing, I became totally color- and sexual preference-blind by the age of 12 or so.

The great thing about Elton John’s music is it gives me a chance to explain my three-quarter hatred for greatest hits albums. With Elton John’s first greatest hits set in 1974, they got all of the wrong songs; none of my favorites are on there.

These are my favorite Elton John pre-‘74 songs: “Country Comfort” from Tumbleweed Connection (‘70), “Levon” and the title cut from Madman Across the Water (‘71), “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” from Honkey Chateau (‘72), and, of course, “All the Girls Love Alice” from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (‘73).

When it comes to albums, it’s a nose-to-nose race between Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy with the beautifully haunting “Someone Save My Life Tonight” (I’ve been there many, many times, folks), and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.